It started with an old Campagnolo pedal, a pair of scissors, one razor blade, and a scrap piece of leather. Out of this combination, San Francisco bike messenger Casey Plemons created a company: Plemons Co, handmade leather bike goods.
Based out of his Mission District workshop, Plemons is churning out his handmade leather toe straps for messengers and urban cyclists across the globe. Plemons makes each one by hand, cutting the leather, attaching the brass buckles, and stamping it with his signature bird.
In the beginning, it was only local bike messengers who could buy Plemons’ goods—and almost all of them did. Catch a glimpse of a messenger’s feet as he races by, and chances are you’ll see a Plemons Double Toe Strap wrapped around the fixed gear pedal. And it’s not just because the straps are so stylish; it’s because Plemons revolutionized the toe strap, by adding brass buckle clips that don’t let the rider slip out of the pedal (key for fixie riders who skid to brake).
Plemons now sells to the public, and his gear is at shops throughout San Francisco and across the globe. Even as his business expands, he’s still making his goods by hand, sourcing and manufacturing locally (heck, even the leather comes from Napa cows). “It’s a really small, local operation,” says Plemons. “It’s basically just a one man show.”
For the last few years, Plemons has only been making the Double Toe Straps, but he’s now expanded his line to include leather U-lock holsters, which his jeweler girlfriend customizes. He’s expanding even further this year, launching a single toe strap and leather handlebar tape.